Marksmanship is the heart of everything we do here. Through marksmanship, we learn and practice discipline, focus, and self-control. As one of my podcast guests once put it over a couple of beers, “Marksmanship is the American Martial Art.”
Here you will find all of my articles, podcasts, and marksman challenges relating to the study and practice of good marksmanship. If you’re specifically looking to learn the fundamentals, be sure to check out my article series on how to shoot a rifle. I’ll soon be working on a series for pistol marksmanship as well.
If you haven’t tested yourself against a Marksman Challenge, be sure to check one of them out and lets us know how you did over in the community forum.
/// Marksmanship Archive
Shooting enthusiasts, especially new ones, tend to try and shortcut the mastery process.
The truth is that a standard rifle is more than capable of all the precision a new shooter can muster.
Practicing rifle positions will take you far. You’ll be able to get in and out of them quickly, build up a stable shooting platform, and even be an effective marksman. But getting good with your natural point of aim will make you even better.
Many view the notorious “chicken wing” as a defining trait of a newbie. Tactical instructors, and the enthusiasts who follow them, will all claim it’s a surefire way to get your arm shot off in a fight. So why is it still so prominent?
The standing position is simultaneously the most common and least useful of the standard rifle positions. The thing is, outside of competition, if you need to use it then you need to use it right now!
Kneeling is a moderately stable position, being better than standing but not as good as sitting or prone. It’s the go-to when mobility is the priority, though.
Jeff Cooper, in The Art of the Rifle, stated that the seated position is the most useful for hunters. Military shooters use it less because it’s neither as low as prone nor fast like squatting or kneeling.
The Swiss Sniping 4th Generation, or S4G, concept leverages ballistic arcs and volleys of fire to increase hit probability. It’s not as fancy as the American Designated Marksman Program, but it’s no slouch, either.
Most field shooters, from big game hunters to military members, do not have the luxury of time to check distance, adjust sights, and take a precisely aimed shot. Knowing and using the point blank zero is a tool for helping with that.
The squatting position, otherwise known as “Rice Paddy Prone,” isn’t as common as it once was. It is a moderate stability position that supports both elbows, making it more stable than kneeling yet keeping a high level of mobility.
The prone position is the bread and butter of a skilled rifleman. It is the most stable position you can get using only your own body. When you attend any shooting school, you’re going to spend a lot of time in the prone. But it’s not without its limitations. Let’s take a good look at the most classic of rifle shooting positions.
Learning military and tactical skills will improve your life. Adopting a mindset that pursues honor, strength, mastery, and courage has tangible benefits to your career, your relationships, and your own wellbeing. This post outlines why I started all of this.